Monday, 15 October 2007

Say hi to Labrat Ninetails

I've been playing with libsecondlife over the weekend. My original intention was to get it running on my Dreamhost account (under Linux) so that I could try out RESTbot. Unfortunately, compiling everything under Linux isn't as straightforward as I'd hoped and I've more or less given up for now.

Instead, I've installed libsecondlife on my laptop along with a copy of Microsoft Visual C# Express Edition (available for free) which allows me to develop client applications.

The libsecondlife distribution comes with some example programs, so getting started is pretty easy. Here's my slight modification to the basic 'my first bot' application.

For the in-world part of my experiment, I've created a new avatar called Labrat Ninetails. The avatar shape is based on the previous work I did for Pandora Bot. Here's a shot of them side-by-side - remember that one is an avatar, the other is just a pile of scripted prims.

My simple application rezzes Labrat in-world and allows me to chat with anyone that happens to be standing nearby using a very primitive 'console' interface on my laptop. Labrat can't move or fly or doing anything else for that matter - though I have added the default typing animation so that you know when he is about to say something.

In short, my first bot isn't much to write home about! There is also a minor annoyance that avatars rezzed using libsecondlife suffer from being 'ruthed' - which means that their shape defaults to that of Ruth, the first female avatar. I haven't yet been able to find a working fix to this problem. So here's what Labrat looks like when he is rezzed using libsecondlife :-(

I'm not a C# wonk, so I don't know how far I'll go with this. But the pleasing thing to report is that developing an initial application using libsecondlife is very easy to do and not more than a few hours work.

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